(Last Updated on : 24/05/2013)
According to Ashtang Ayurveda
, the causative factors of a disease are an imbalance in any or more of the three doshas (vata, pitta and kapha), the seven dhatus (rasa, rakta, mansa, meda, asthi, majja and shukra), agni and the three malas (mutra, purisha and sweda). The imbalance may be caused by the following conditions: "Asatmendriyarth Samyog", Aama, Pradnyaparadha and Parinama. "Asatmendriyarth Samyog" stands for improper or too much exploitation of the sense organs of vision, sound, smell, sense and touch. These include incorrect habits like constant viewing of bright objects like the sun and reading in the dark. Aama refers to a deposition of unwholesome substances in the body as a result of indigestion. It is mainly due to an excess of activity, or exercise. Aama is also triggered by the consumption of oily, fatty, sweet foods, and heavy meat like pork and beef. Too much consumption of these foods affects the digestive processes and produces improperly digested mucus, which is aama.
Pradnyaparadha is the term that denotes the wrong deeds performed by an individual as a result of any wrong decision taken by the mind. Parinama means any unexpected or adverse changes in climatic conditions that may hamper the body's stability if the body is exposed to such climatic changes for a long time. The seasonal cycle plays an important role in regulating a person's health and any disturbances in the season affects the balance of the dosha.
The causative factor of a disease varies according to the disease. The causative factors according to the type of disease are as follows:
: Imbalance in one or more of the doshas, vaata, kapha, and pitta cause fever. The disturbance may be due to excessive consumption of improper foods which in turn cause the doshas to reach the gastro intestinal tract and drive out the internal gastric fire which is responsible for digestion. As the digestive fire or agni moves towards the exterior part of the body, fever is caused. The Ayurvedic treatment for fire involves setting the fire element in its right place.
: This condition of the body is mainly due to absence of physical activity. Sleeping during the day, intake of Kapha dosha stimulating foods, finally triggers the accumulation of fat. This accumulated fat blocks the channels of nutrition therby causing an increase in hunger, because the body is deprived of nutrition.
: elements of the body containing excess water disrupt the normal function of the gastric fire. A large quantity of water is expelled from the body mainly through faeces. Treatment involves restoring balance of the watery element. Gout: Excessive consumption of foods that are too salty, sour, alkaline, fatty , improperly cooked, meat of the animals or birds of marshy and desert regions which have been soaked in water, excessive drinking of sugarcane juice, prolonged exposure to cold winds, sleeping in the daytime and keeping awake in the night, travelling long distances at a stretch causes gout in vulnerable persons.
: Eating unhealthy food, lack of physical exercise or doing exercise particularly after eating fatty foods, erroneous use of purgatives, causes improper digestion. The half digested food or ama combines with Vaata and moves about the body. It fills the seats of kapha, and clogs the transport channels of the body. This in turn results in weakness of the heart, loss of strength, feeling of heaviness and stiffness of the joints of the body. Sprue: Pungent, bitter, astringent, dry food when consumed in an excess or exercise, when done in excess, supresses the natural functions of the body. They vitiate vata dosha thus producing disease.
Indigestion or dyspepsia:
Taking excess of water, or intake of food at odd times hinders the body from carrying out its natural functions resulting in loss of sleep at night and indigestion.
Intestinal problems :
Consumption of foods that are dry, salty, sour or intake of uncleaned vegetables, molasses or food that do not go with each other, or eating of too much animal fat, fish, fermented stuffs, and lack of physical exercise cause intestinal problems.
These are most probably due to Pitta. This is caused by too much exposure to sunlight or intake of taking which are pungent, hot and alkaline.
Peptic Ulcer and colic
: It is caused by over consumption of astringent and dry hot bitter foods or due to grief; starvation; fasting; and keeping awake at night, which increases vaata. These disruptions increase gastric fire causing peptic ulcer, and stimulating colic.
: When abnormalities in the doshas vitiate the blood and similar fluids like plasma, heart disease is caused.
: This is caused by increase of Pitta, usually due to eating of incompatible foods and hot or spicy foods or stale food.
Diseases of the ear
: The vaata, pitta, kapha balance may be disturbed by exposure to cold air or sudden loud noises. The elements move in incorrect directions and induce ear problems.
So, every disease has a root or origin, wherein lies the causative factors of a disease. Ayurveda identifies this cause and treats the person accordingly.